Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Viva Amore

Located at 818 Mt. Auburn Street in Watertown, MA, Viva Amore bridal boutique opened in July 2009 with a self-proclaimed different business model than the typical dress store. Owners Mena Tuccinardi, 50, and her daughter Anita Dunn, 27, wanted to open a store that gave back to the community and made buying a wedding dress affordable in the bad economy. Tuccinardi and Dunn developed a system that allows them to take dresses from high-end boutiques looking to move product and sell them at 50% - 75% off. In giving back to the community, they most recently gave free wedding dresses to military brides and plan to work with the area high schools to give prom dresses to girls who can’t afford them.

Owner of Viva Amore Anita Dunn, 27, and her mother, fellow owner Mena Tuccinardi, 50, search for an e-mail from a woman in Iraq that they recently sent a dress to as Tuccinardi’s father Frank Tuccinardi, 89, looks on. Mena and Dunn corresponded with the woman through e-mail, sending her pictures of dresses before sending the one she chose to her family for when she returns. In honor of Veterans Day, Dunn and Tuccinardi gave away free wedding dresses to military brides. Dunn’s brother is a former Marine who now serves in the fire department in Medford, MA.
Owner of Viva Amore bridal boutique in Watertown, MA, Mena Tuccinardi, 50, helps bride-to-be Denise Ricci, 27, of Easton, MA try on a dress on Friday afternoon. Ricci heard about the boutique through a friend that emphasized their generosity to the community and good customer service. “We’re really laid back,” said Tuccinardi, “we don’t pressure. This is a big decision, we try to have fun with it.”
Viva Amore owner Mena Tuccinardi, 50 (right) helps bride-to-be Denise Ricci, 27 (left), try on a dress as Ricci’s friend Theresa Bradt, 36, looks on on Friday afternoon. Tuccinardi prides her store on striking a balance between giving customers privacy and giving them an honest opinion about how a dress looks.

Viva Amore owner Mena Tuccinardi, 50, takes a break in between clients to dance with her father Frank Tuccinardi, 89. Frank lost his vision and hearing a year ago and joins his daughter and granddaughter at their bridal boutique during the week. “He’s our mascot,” Mena said. Mena helps Frank tango during a break in between customers.

Owner of Viva Amore Mena Tuccinardi, 50, puts dresses back on the racks after they have been tried on by bride-to-be Denise Ricci, 27 (not pictured). Tuccinardi and her daughter and co-owner, Anita Dunn, started Viva Amore by selling used wedding dresses and have grown into selling only new dresses that have been moved by high-end boutiques. “We started with a different idea and it just blew up,” Tuccinardi said. Tuccinardi and Dunn plan to give away Prom dresses for less fortunate girls in the area come Prom season.

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